GiftedMom - Ending Maternal Deaths Using Mobile Technology.

GiftedMom is a social enterprise aiming to improve maternal health using last mile mobile technologies. Combining SMS and voice reminders with curative GPS-integrated tricycle solutions, the project aims to end preventable maternal and infant deaths.

This smartphone app uses a customized SMS notification and voice education platform, the solution leverages on the high amount of mobile devices in Africa and provides antenatal care and vaccination reminders to pregnant women and new mothers respectively.

Designed for data collection which works offline and online, it is primarily used by community relay workers and medical personnel, who can register pregnant women or new mothers to send and receive SMS. Voice notifications for illiterate women are also featured. This enables women to register for the service remotely by using a toll free short code number which syncs directly with the GiftedMom database. This mobile subscription method allows women to send their questions and get a response from a medical team.

An additional facet of the services is the transport system: A woman in an emergency situation or community relay worker onsite can alert the curative GPS Tricycle Transport, which the company has adapted for rural areas. Once notified, the GPS Tricycle Transport system takes her to a health center for treatment. As the app provides mapping and location details even for rural areas, it is able to calculate distances between tricycle and intervention zone and uses cell-tower triangulation technology to function even without internet access. The tricycles are equipped with beds and another seat for a midwife or health personnel.

To date, GiftedMom has worked with over 6,000 pregnant women and new mothers sending critical messages and notifications in 26 disconnected communities in Cameroon and Nigeria.

The problem of maternal and infant mortality is widespread in developing countries. Statistics show deaths of over 800 pregnant women per day from causes that are 97% preventable, and about 4 million infant deaths due to vaccine-preventable causes per year. In Sub Saharan Africa, there are higher risks of death during pregnancy with 1 in 38 women endangered compared to 1 in 3800 in developed countries. In Cameroon alone a pregnant woman dies every hour.

The main causes of maternal deaths include inadequate hospital supplies, lack of information and insufficient transport solutions in rural and disconnected areas. While the problem of inadequate hospital supplies is being tackled by governments and some NGOs, GiftedMom bridges the gap in information and transport using last mile mobile health solutions.

The impact of GiftedMom has been very encouraging as the company has reached 6,000 pregnant women and mothers in 26 rural communities in Cameroon with over 330,000 SMS sent. This has increased the rate of antenatal care by an average of 40%. In just 3 months, the hotline offered to pregnant women referred over 120 patients with vital danger signs to health centers for urgent care. GiftedMom has also developed an android app for teenage and first-time mothers with smartphones and has had over 1,000 downloads to date.

The social venture aims to scale nationwide in Cameroon and Nigeria reaching 100,000 families by end of 2016 and replicating their simple but effective solution in other developing economies in Africa and beyond, targeting 5 million users in 2018.

The two issues of public health concerns coupled with mobile penetration open access to a large consumer market. In Africa, there are over 50 million women spending an average of 300 USD per pregnancy, and approx. 170 million mothers spending an average of 500 USD before the child is 3 years old. With the vision of reaching 5 million users in the next 3 years across Africa, GiftedMum is unlocking a new market of consumers.

The company offers a scalable platform aimed at delivering value in several ways: The mobile health industry is projected as a $23 billion market by 2018 with the fastest growth in Sub Saharan Africa, which has 71% of the global disease burden. GiftedMom therefore leases its mobile health solutions to NGOs in maternal health and development agencies. This includes the SMS/Audio messaging platform, in-platform feature purchase and SMS/audio credit resell. Clients include UNFPA Cameroon, UNFPA Nigeria and PLAN International.

The second customer group is the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Companies (FMCGs). By targeting a niche market of pregnant women and mothers, they are able to address a new consumers previously unreachable by multinational consumer goods companies.

  • Data collection/SMS remote subscription for the registration of pregnant women for SMS/voice education and reminders
  • SMS/voice Platform for customize, stage-based, automated messaging
  • GPS Tricycle transport solution for intervention

Key Facts

Organization: GiftedMom
Contact: Alain Nteff
Operating in: Cameroon, Haiti




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